Labs in the USA and Russia have shown the existence of a chemical element with atomic number 117. But it's actually been created by scientists at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt.

The heaviest naturally-occurring element on Earth in uranium (atomic number 92). Everything heavier than that is artificial. Most of these heavy elements are so unstable that they only exist for a fraction of a second, and 117 is no exception.

The default name for element 117 is ununseptium. But the International Unions of Pure and Applied Physics and Chemistry will confirm an official name now. The team that makes the discovery may propose a name, but IUPAPC has to agree to it. (They usually do!)

So school chemistry labs, prepare to update your Periodic Table!
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Mona Evans
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